We're ready for How We Met story #2 part 2. You can go here to read part 1.
It was about 7 years later, and I had heard very little about Ernie…I still remember the amazement & shock I felt when my brother discovered in the Calvary Bible School (CBS) handbook that Ernest Eby would be dean at CBS. This position just didn't fit the Ernie I had known, so I was tuned in for anything I might learn about this.
During those seven years, I would sometimes think about Cathy but figured that she would probably never be interested in dating again. While at Calvary Bible School, my interest in starting a relationship again started to revive. I met people who knew her, and met people we had related with together while we were dating. I began wondering whether God would open doors again or whether he wanted me to stay single for life. I hardly trusted myself or Him anymore… what if dating again would end in another disaster. I would not be able to forgive myself…
Soon after hearing Ernie would be serving at CBS, 3 people “hinted” about Ernie to me. One lady that I really respected out of the blue told me, “if Ernie would ever come knocking on your door again, you should seriously consider.” I kept answering by saying: “I'll cross that bridge if it comes”. I honestly had no clue if I was interested, besides, I had no reason to think he even remembered me. I had no idea what to think. I remember praying “God, if you're preparing me for something, guide me.” Nothing happened. I took it as another test to see if I would truly be happy as a single.
In 2003 I moved to Arkansas. Church wise this opened the door for me to date Cathy again if I wanted to. I was living alone in a cabin and was more aware of how nice it would be to have a life companion. Is Cathy the one???
August of 2004, I heard in a round-about way that Ernie would be in my area for a wedding. Then I discovered he could be at a youth activity….I was so tempted not to go that evening, I just didn't want to face dealing with thoughts, feelings, questions, etc that could come up. And the last thing I wanted to do, was give him any idea that I could be interested in him…I was feeling foolish that I was even thinking along those lines, and yet, the idea was there and needed to be faced. I realized that to stay away that evening, just because I MIGHT meet him, was foolish. I told God I would go, I would be friendly (I really didn't do so well with that one…) and the situation would be left in His hands.
Well, Ernie WAS there. At one point we did end up on the same volleyball team, playing beside each other. Even though I had ignored him earlier in the evening, I knew I had to be friendly at that point. We chatted some, and that was the extent of it. I really was able to lay aside all the questions & “what-ifs” I had faced earlier.
God arranged the meeting… and I was glad to see that Cathy had also grown and matured and that she had not drawn into a shell because of our first relationship. I went home and continued praying about this.
About a month later, my best friend's engagement was broken, just weeks before her wedding. That was really hard on me. My first comments to my parents were: “I'm so thankful that I'm not dating now. I don't know if it would last through this.” I closed up my heart against ever getting hurt like that.
Part three coming Friday......